TENNESSEE OSHA WORKS TO REDUCE WORKPLACE AMPUTATIONS
TENNESSEE REPORTED 352 WORKPLACE AMPUTATIONS FOR 2007
NASHVILLE – Amputations are among the most severe and disabling workplace injuries, often resulting in permanent disability. According to the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) thousands of U.S. workers across all industries suffer workplace amputations. In Tennessee alone, 352 amputations were reported for the 2007 fiscal year.
The majority of workplace amputations occur in the manufacturing sector. These injuries result from the use and care of machines such as saws, presses, conveyors and bending, rolling, or shaping machines as well as from powered and non-powered hand tools, forklifts, doors, trash compactors and during materials handling activities.
“TOSHA believes employee exposure to unguarded or inadequately guarded machines is a primary cause of amputations,” said John Winkler, TOSHA Administrator. “We feel it is very important to help make sure facilities with machines that could cause amputations are properly safeguarded.”
To reduce these numbers TOSHA has implemented a special emphasis program that focuses on amputations. This program is designed to identify and reduce the workplace hazards which are causing or likely to cause amputations.
In order to target specific industries with high amputation rates, TOSHA compliance officers use injury reports from the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. TOSHA also provides information on amputation awareness to industry professionals in all their training seminars.
The best ways to prevent amputation are through safeguarding machinery and lockout tagout. For help with identifying and eliminating amputation hazards in your workplace, contact TOSHA Consultative Services at 1-800-325-9901. It's free and confidential.
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